On April 15, the state Senate voted 50 to 4 to pass S.B. 1821 and send it to the House of Representatives. State Representative Thomas Holbrook, a Democrat, is chief sponsor of the measure in the House. The bill was in the Rules Committee in late April. A final vote was expected before the Legislature’s summer recess at the end of May. Lawmakers then will return to Springfield in the fall to wrap up the 2011 session.

Governor Pat Quinn has voiced support for FutureGen 2.0 and would be expected to sign a final bill into law this summer.  Quinn is a Democrat and the House and Senate are controlled by Democrats.

S.B. 1821 creates the Carbon Dioxide Transportation and Sequestration Act.  It empowers the Illinois Commerce Commission to issue a certificate “for the limited grant of authority for construction and operation of a carbon dioxide pipeline.” In the case of FutureGen 2.0, the pipeline would originate at an Ameren Energy Resources power plant, Meredosia, in Morgan County. Meredosia Unit 4 would be repowered with advanced oxy-combustion and CO2 capture technology. Ameren Energy is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corp.

The pipeline would extend for about 32 miles to a permanent underground CO2 storage site in northeastern Morgan County.  Morgan was selected in February by the FutureGen Alliance over five other counties to host the site.

Barring any further delays, construction on the power plant and pipeline is set to begin in the spring of 2013.